In late June, Virgin Galactic plans to debut its for-profit space tourism programme. The company’s stock rose by more than 40% during Thursday’s extended session.
Richard Branson launched Virgin Galactic, a spaceflight corporation, and the Virgin Group conglomerate still has an 11.9% share in it through Virgin Investments Limited. It is based in California, but it also has operations in New Mexico.
The business is building commercial spacecraft with the intention of offering space travellers suborbital spaceflights. 2018 saw Virgin Galactic’s VSS Unity spacecraft make its first space mission.
Virgin Galactic expects its second commercial flight to take place in “early August,” followed by “monthly” commercial flights. Three Italian Air Force personnel will be aboard Galactic 01 to conduct scientific research in microgravity.
The corporation completed “routine analysis and vehicle inspections” of its carrier aircraft VMS Eve and spacecraft VSS Unity on Thursday after completing its final test spaceflight in May.
800+ Passenger Backlog
The first commercial spaceflight by Virgin Galactic was a long-awaited achievement for the firm as it allowed it to start flying its 800+ passenger backlog. Richard Branson, a billionaire, launched the business in 2004. With the June launch, Virgin Galactic will also start to demonstrate that it can fly commercial flights often, which is essential to its long-term success.
Before the end of June, Virgin Galactic will begin operating its first commercial space tourism flights, according to the firm of Sir Richard Branson.
With a launch window in the three days starting June 27, a group of experts from the Italian Air Force and the National Research Centre of Italy will blast off into space to undertake microgravity research.
The airline said that the first of these flights will take off in early August, with subsequent monthly trips. In May, the last test flight took place.
Over the previous ten years, Virgin Galactic has sold around 800 tickets, the first set of which cost £156,000 each. Each ticket now costs £352,000.
When the aircraft reaches space, it shuts down, giving passengers a chance to experience weightlessness, stillness, and an aerial view of Earth. The spacecraft then returns to the Spaceport America runway in the New Mexico desert.
However, space travel is similar to travelling by train or aeroplane in that it is cheaper to make reservations well in advance, as the first customers of Virgin Galactic have discovered.
The announcement follows the closure of Sir Richard Branson’s standalone space company Virgin Orbit months after a mission ended in failure.
In May, The Independent published data from the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) that claimed passengers may travel through space in the next ten years to go from London to Sydney, Australia, in less than two hours.